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Thailand Downgrades Coronavirus Alert to Level 3, Easing More Restrictions

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The Ministry of Public Health yesterday reduced its Coronavirus alert level from Level 4 to Level 3, allowing most members of the public to return to their normal daily activities with fewer restrictions, as the country’s overall Covid-19 situation has significantly improved.

According to Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, those over age 60, those suffering from underlying medical conditions that could be exacerbated by Covid-19, and those who haven’t yet been fully vaccinated should avoid doing certain activities that might increase their risk of infection.

To be fully vaccinated, he said, one should receive three Covid-19 Coronavirus shots.

The committee directing the ministry’s medical and public health operations approved the adjustment from Level 4 to Level 3.

The committee is separate from the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Coronavirus Situation Administration (CCSA).

People are advised not to visit entertainment venues or crowded places during a Level 3 Covid-19 alert.

Coronavirus to be declared endemic

Dr. Opas said that all other activities that were prohibited or discouraged under the Level 4 alert are now allowed. Nevertheless, people in the aforementioned risk group are still advised to avoid unnecessary travel between provinces and abroad.

As infections have stabilized in 23 provinces, the remaining 54 provinces have seen continuous improvements in their outbreak conditions, indicating that Colombia is moving into the post-pandemic phase where Covid-19 Coronavirus will be recognized as an endemic disease, he said.

That said, infections may rise again when the new school term begins later in the month.

In order to avoid another mass outbreak, the Public Health Ministry wants to ensure more than 90% of teachers, other staff, and students aged 12-17 are fully vaccinated and boosted before they return to school, Dr. Opas said.

In response to a question about the government’s reluctance to allow night entertainment venues to reopen, he said the matter will be discussed at the next CCSA meeting.

Despite the improvement in Covid-19, there is still a risk of a sudden change, he said.

To allow everyone to resume their daily activities as soon as possible, all provinces have now been asked to pay extra attention to at-risk groups and speed up the provision of Covid-19 booster shots.

At least 60% of the risk groups are expected to be fully vaccinated before the CCSA will relax the remaining restrictions, he said, before noting that authorities are pleased with the progress of vaccinations in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces.

Ease remaining Coronavirus restrictions

In a separate petition, a group of tourism, restaurant, and night entertainment business operators called for the government to ease the remaining restrictions on Covid-19.

Authorities are being asked to allow pubs, bars, and karaoke parlors to partially reopen in the coming month. Full reopening is planned for July 1, when Covid-19 Coronavirus will be declared an endemic disease.

According to Sa-nga Ruangwatthanakul, president of the association of business operators on Khao San Road, Covid-19 restrictions and shutdowns cost businesses more than a hundred billion baht.

The group also called for the termination of the Thailand Pass registration system for foreigners, along with the reopening of night entertainment venues.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his satisfaction with more than 300,000 visitors entering Thailand since the government scrapped the Test&Go program, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

It is expected that at least 300,000 visitors will arrive each month until September, the start of the tourism high season which runs until December.

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